Have you ever cared deeply for someone yet could not trust them? Have you poured your life into someone only to have them later betray you? Have you ever considered that God sometimes has the same trouble with us?
Jesus traveled everywhere teaching people how to be reunited with God. He tirelessly ministered to their spiritual, emotional and physical needs. He healed the sick, raised the dead, and even fed the thousands when there was not enough food. Multitudes flocked to see the miracles and hear His teaching. People donated to His ministry and professed their unwavering love and devotion, yet He did not trust them.
Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart. (John 2:23-25 NLT)
What a stunning indictment of the human race, and what a powerful testimony of the love of God. Even though He was the pop star of the moment, Jesus knew that it wouldn’t last. He knew that many of His fans would fall by the wayside when Jesus’ concerts were no longer in vogue. He understood that many people were there just for the handouts, and when He really needed their help, they would be long gone.
Where were the people He had freed from torment and pain when Pilate asked the crowd if he should release Jesus? Where were those He had healed when the soldiers ripped His back open with the whip? Where were the people He had fed when His strength was waning from the hours of physical, mental and emotional abuse? Where were those He raised to life when the soldiers were destroying His?
Despite all of this, He gave his life for us. In the above scripture, we see that Jesus didn’t get caught up in the people’s fawning attention. He knew that no matter what He did for them, He could never really count on them. Even those closest to Him would run away when the pressure was on. Some would even deny knowing Him when challenged. The most faithful of His “friends” would let him down.
It is easy for us to look back and criticize. It is a simple thing for us to condemn the “Jesus traitors” of the past. But, are we really that different than these historic people? Are we faithful in the good times and the bad? Do we face persecution with joy, or do we become silent when we are with those that don’t believe in – or are perhaps even hostile toward – Jesus? Are we really willing to lay down everything for Jesus, or do we pick and choose our sacrifices?
What about church? Is it about Him, or is it about us? Isn’t it amazing that people spend hours every day watching tv, playing games, attending sporting events, or “goofing off, “ yet complain that sermons are too long when they “sacrifice” their time to go to church. Do we pick our church for what it can do for us, or for what God can do in and through us? Is it that we are happy when the focus is on us, but quickly become dis-interested when the focus is on God or others? Is it so hard to serve God with delight after all He has done for us?
It is often easy to tell our Facebook friends that we trust Jesus, but what is really important is, can He trust us?
Father, I am grieved when I consider all that You have done for us, and how faithless we often are. Transform us! Make us like Peter, who – even though he betrayed You – repented and spent the rest of his life tirelessly honoring You. Lord I pray that we become people You can trust. In Jesus Name, Amen!